Me and my: Boomerang Boomer 6
Since its creation some fifty years ago, Lexon Group, based in Newport, has continued to develop its commercial offer. The company began by supplying vinyl tax record holders to the automotive industry in addition to key chains.
âIt was really a small family business that hot-peeled keychains and produced these various vinyl-like interior stickers for car windshield interiors and it just kept growing,â says Dominic Hartley, commercial director of the company. âThen it evolved into a screen printing and lithographic printer and over the past 50 years it has grown into a Â£ 6million business, around sixty employees, printing, point of sale, d large format packaging and organization. So it’s really a jack-of-all-trades.
Expanding Lexon into other print industries was not a deliberate strategy, it simply developed organically at customer demand. âCustomers were getting decent service getting their vinyls printed, and then they’d say:. just kept growing from there.
One sector in which Lexon has diversified in recent years is that of packaging. Hartley says the company was producing point-of-sale work for a customer of the brewery and one day the brewery asked if Lexon could produce decorative cartons to put glasses on. The company therefore began to produce boxes, put the glasses inside and ship them. straight to supermarkets for the brewer who was so impressed with the results it became a repeat order for Lexon – Hartley says he has a warehouse full of glasses right now.
It was this order that launched the company in the packaging industry and began producing cardboard and folding boxboard for other customers. At first, the company would print the boxes, die or laser cut them, then the items were glued by hand or pushed into two old Moll folder-gluers in which Lexon had invested a few years ago. years.
But due to the continued growth in pack orders, Hartley realized that this approach was no longer viable, nor sending work to be completed elsewhere which was costly, time consuming and the company also had less. of quality control. Lexon was also preparing to develop a web-to-pack online carton portal to take advantage of growing demand.
âPotential customers will be able to choose a type of cardboard, fill in the dimensions and order it online, but to be able to offer that type of facility you have to be able to offer all types of cardboard gluing and we were a bit limited with the Moll. into what we could do, âsays Hartley. âWe therefore realized that we had to really boost our folder-gluer department, but we don’t have a lot of space in our factory. We have extension after extension after extension and the clutter was a big thing for us.
This presented a significant problem because folder-gluers are notorious for being big. âAll the folder-gluers out there are huge – they’re nine meters long or more and we just didn’t have that space. Also, we would basically need someone to load the machine on one end and one or two people to pack on the other end.
Hartley says Lexon looked at the specifications of a number of folder-gluers from major manufacturers and quickly realized they wouldn’t fit into the factory. At this point he says the company was “resigned” to sticking with the Molls and potentially switching to a newer model because “they don’t have massive footprints,” but Hartley then stumbled upon a machine. with an intriguing name.
âWe have heard about the Boomer Boomer folder-gluer and iPack solutions [the UK distributor for the machine] arranged for us to go see one in action at a company in North London. We spent a few hours watching the machine work and talking to the operators and it was great. “
He said ironically the company had the Korean-made folder-gluer installed next to an old Moll that it had upgraded and had never used again “so that was a good indication of which would probably happen to us, âadds Hartley.
Along with its speed, quality, and ease of use, another key draw was the machine’s small footprint – it’s basically shaped like a Boomerang, hence the name. âThe flat sheets come down one side and then come back to you. So only one operator is able to load the machine and pack it, âsays Hartley.
Lexon configured its Â£ 150,000 device with an additional three-line hot-glue system and took delivery of the machine, which was shipped from Korea, in June this year after a slight delay in delivery due to the blockage of the Suez Canal caused by the Ever Given the container ship. Aside from the delivery issue, Hartley says the installation was “a snap” and after some initial training the business was up and running within days. âThe operators who were placed there were used to gluing folders using the Moll, so it wasn’t like they were completely blind,â he says, adding that âiPack has been amazing throughout the processâ .
Hartley says the only startup issue the company encountered with the machine was with the glue they used for the very first job on the Boomerang. âWe used the same glue that we use on the Moll and it set too quickly or didn’t set fast enough and it wasn’t quite right. So we called [iPack] and i got some advice and they told us to use a different glue and it’s been sticking perfectly ever since. We’ve gone from the smallest box we can produce to the biggest box, and we’ve gone from the thinnest stock to corrugated, and so far it’s all been done – nothing has beaten us yet … touch wood. It’s only been a few months, but we haven’t had a break and nothing has gone wrong.
The company kept its old Moll machines and still uses them as one is set up to do specific regular folding work and the other Moll is used for gluing envelopes – another area Lexon has entered into. diversified.
Meanwhile, the Boomerang takes care of a wide variety of tasks on a daily basis – from corrugated cardboard seed boxes to cosmetic cartons. When the new web-to-pack business starts up, Hartley envisions the machine running around the clock to produce packaging and if there is any downtime he thinks there is other work that could. be performed on the Boomerang.
âIf we were to fold 60,000 six-page A5s at 400 grams, we would never be able to fit them into a folder, so we would need to fold them and then fold them by hand. But we can get the job done with this folder-gluer – obviously without any glue – and just use it as a folder.
The versatility of the Boomerang is just one of the many advantages that Hartley offers to the company. âWe used to outsource some cardboard work in different parts of the country and if we had a really big gluing job we would do that too, but now we don’t have to outsource anything anymore. We can keep everything in-house which is cheaper, it gives us better control and it’s better for the environment.
That’s why he wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the machine to anyone considering buying a Boomerang. âThere’s no question about it,â says Hartley. “We’ve only been here a few months, but it’s solidly built, we had no issues with it and it does what it says on the tin so I would definitely recommend it to others.”
Speed 20-250 meters per minute
Cardboard material 200-800 g / mÂ²
Price Â£ 150,000 (for specification chosen by Lexon, with additional three-line hot-glue system)
Contact IPack Solutions 0161 428 8396 ipacksolutions.net
The Newport-based Lexon Group was founded around 50 years ago and began primarily serving the automotive industry with vinyl decals and key chains. However, today the company supplies a wide range of printed media – from point of sale to packaging – to a variety of different customers from its factory, where it employs over 60 people.
Lexon operates a Komori Impremia IS29 B2 LED UV sheetfed inkjet press – the first of its kind in Europe when installed in 2017 – and a Highcon Euclid III laser cutting and creasing system. It also has conventional B2 presses, screen printing equipment and a range of other small and large format digital equipment. The company generates annual sales of around Â£ 6million and intends to launch an online web-to-pack portal in the new year to further develop its packaging offering.
Why it was bought …
The company outsourced some packaging work or did it by hand, which was time consuming and expensive. As she prepared to launch a new web-to-pack online portal, she knew she needed a new folder-gluer so that all of this work could be done in-house.
How did it work …
Dominic Hartley, Company Sales Director, says the Boomerang “does what it says on the tin – we were really impressed with that”